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Review - Hollowed

Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Hollowed (Half Light Saga #1)
by Kelley York

Publication: August 15, 2012
Author: Website | Twitter
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

All 18-year-old Briar Greyson wanted was to figure out this whole living-away-from-your-parents thing. Apartment, steady job, cool roommate? Check. Noah, her adorable (albeit elusive) boyfriend? Check. Everything in the life of Briar was pretty good.

Then she and her roommate are attacked on their way home one night. Briar wasn't supposed to survive.

Instead, according to the two guys who saved her, she's turning into the things that attacked her: a vampire. Totally crazy and Not Okay. Now Noah's secrets are coming to light, and he wants Briar dead. Then there are the vampires who attacked Briar to lure out her sister.

Her sister...who died years ago.

(Didn't she?)

The city's body count is rising, and Briar wants to help put a stop to it. But first, she has to figure out who the real enemy is: the vampires, the boy she loves, or the sister she thought she'd lost.

Wow. Oh. Wow. I have the tingles, and I'm in my happy place right now. This isn't a drop dead, blow you away book. Rather, it's the kind that steals your breath away, slowly, bit by bit as you become more engulfed in the book. There are so many paranormal books out there, but few as realistic and heart-melting as this one. Vampires are not big, bad, and invincible. There are the bad guys, yes, but most are so very human. They're pretty much human except for their immortal-until-given-irreparable-damage, improved senses, and drinking blood deal. I enjoyed learning more about the paranormal world along with Briar. That was the highlight of the book for me, along with the characters.

The characters are remarkable, each with his/her own unique voice and story. Briar is a smart girl. Recklessly courageous, yes. She charges into situations stubbornly regardless of whether or not someone is there to back her up. However, her reactions are just what I'd expect. She thinks Oliver and Cole are crazy when they claim vampires are real and kicks them out of her house. She doesn't trust anyone until her trust has been won. She rationalizes. It was easy to relate to her, and I empathized with her even during the occaional moments when she denies logical reasoning. And her reaction to finding out Noah's big secret? Heck yeah. Like Briar, I never saw his secret coming. We had the same guesses, but being new to this world, I was clueless until he did something to give himself away. To give her credit, I think Briar was too pumped with adrenaline at the time to put the pieces together till he made his reveal.

I am especially fond of Daniel. I don't want to give too much away, but he gives off a soft and cuddly vibe that makes me want to hug him to death and hide him away and keep him all to myself. Which, despite being good ole Daniel, he won't like very much since (1) he's not into girls that way and (2) there's someone else he'd rather lock himself away with. He is such a sweet guy, the kind of guy every girl wants to have for a friend because you know he's just a friend and because you can tell him everything and he won't judge you. And he deserves a whole paragraph to himself, as much as I also want to talk about how swoony Noah is and the silly things he says and does with Briar. Imagine a hot guy going awkward and puzzled on you. That's how I imagine him, confounded as to what his relationshiph with Briar is going to be from now on.

Kelley York has a gift for writing mysteries and thrillers. First, there was Hushed, and now there is Hollowed. I am so excited to see where she'll be taking us next, both with the next installment in the Half Light saga (Shadow Voices) and with Made of Stars.

Recommendation: Keeper, to be hoarded and loved and read again

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from the author. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
12 comments on "Review - Hollowed"
  1. Interesting, especially as vampires are not portrayed as monsters in this book, that's a plus for me, but I'm still not sure if I'd be really interested in reading this one. I need to check some more reviews.

  2. Thank you SO much, Kris! Daniel is one of my faves, too. ;) He'll definitely have bigger roles in later books.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Well, I've added it to my Goodreads TBR list. Now to find myself a copy! I LOVE Vampire stories and like the sound of these vamps. I've read some great reviews for this book (and Hushed, too). I gather (from the review) that one of the characters turns out to be gay, which is kind of a bummer in my opinion (such a small percentage of the population and yet SO many YA books have jumped on the bandwagon and have at least one), but that won't deter me from reading and enjoying. After all, one of my favorite YA book series (TMI) has a gay guy (shadowhunter) and a gay warlock (my 2nd favorite character) and a lesbian chick (also shadowhunter), and I LOVE that series.

    (sorry for the Kat Jean deleted comment. my daughter was signed in b4 me.)

    1. I love the vampire mythology in this book! I've read so many paranormal books recently that they've started to blend into one another, but this one stands out. The subject matter is dark, but the voice is upbeat and real. Briar is a bit reckless, but she also thinks and reasons things out othertimes. And there's the whole mystery with the action sparsed in between and not overtaking the plot.

      I know a lot of YA books have jumped onto the bandwagon for gay guys, but I think it's really well done in this book. Daniel is gay, but it isn't flaunted in the book. In fact, while there were suggestions, I didn't figure it out fore sure until well into the book. :)

  5. i'm curious with Daniel then :), great review, Kris

  6. Ugh, I NEED a good mystery and thriller in my life! I've seen the synopsis for this book before and avoided it because it seemed a little cliche. But I have to say that your review changed my opinion. And you said it has vampire mythology? Yeah, I'm a mythology nut. I'm over-looking the synopsis and sticking this onto my TBR shelf haha

    Thank you!

    1. Good mysteries and thrillers are hard to find in the YA genre, aren't they? By vampire mythology, I meant the mythology that Kelley York created for the story, so I don't know if this is the kind of mythology you're looking for. I should find a better word, but it's worked best for me when talking about books. Nevertheless, this *is* a book to read!

  7. Thanks for the review! I love a good vampire story, especially if they add something original, and it sounds like this one does.

  8. Oww I sense a new book that is so going on my to read list :) Great review!


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